UFC Champ Topuria Meets Soccer Star Messi

Ilia Topuria, the UFC Featherweight Champion, met soccer star Lionel Messi.

Topuria is one of the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters. He is coming off the best win of his career, stopping Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298. The victory ended Volkanovski’s four-year reign as champion, giving him his first stoppage loss at featherweight.

Topuria extended his undefeated record to 15-0, which includes 13 knockouts. His achievements have made him a crossover star, as he met soccer royalty. Messi was preparing for his home game with Inter Miami against Colorado over the weekend. The two sportsmen shared each other’s company, with Messi handing Topuria his shirt and posing for a photo. 

The encounter may have surprised some since Topuria supports Real Madrid, Messi’s former rivals while playing for Barcelona. The featherweight also attended Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium during their game with Sevilla in February. The following pictures show the champion meeting the players before kick-off. 

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Topuria’s popularity has increased suggestions that any rematch with Volkanovski could occur in Spain at the Bernabeu. The featherweight is also open to fighting Conor McGregor, although it is unlikely that the Irishman will return to the weight class. Topuria’s stock is increasing, making him a big UFC fan favorite. 

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Alexander VolkanovskiConor McGregorIlia TopuriaLionel MessiMMA News